Sunday, 31 December 2006

Bishop of Willesden condemns 'Covenant for the Church of England'

THE BISHOP of Willesden, the Rt Revd Pete Broadbent, has disowned the “covenant” document presented to the Archbishop of Canterbury two weeks ago. He described it last week as “a significant own goal” for Evangelical Anglicans. In a letter to all members of the Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC), on whose behalf the covenant was sent out by the Bishop of Lewes, the Rt Revd Wallace Benn, and the Principal of Wycliffe Hall, the Revd Dr Richard Turnbull, Bishop Broadbent says that members had not been able to read or agree to the document in its final draft. It had not appeared on an agenda paper, and minutes of meetings appeared no longer to be distributed. He describes the CEEC as in “deep disarray”. Read more

Bishops and MPs condemn hanging

SENIOR clergymen, politicians and leading liberals yesterday condemned Saddam Hussein’s execution, describing the release of graphic images of his final moments as “degrading and inappropriate”.

“It was most unpleasant to see this on television, even with the knowledge of what Saddam had done to others,” said John Gladwin, the Bishop of Chelmsford. Read more

Review: The Church of England in the Twentieth Century: The Church Commissioners and the Politics of Reform 1948-1998

For the first time, the Church of England is heavily dependent on money from the living, as opposed to an income from capital gifted in the past. The Evangelicals threaten bankruptcy by withdrawing their financial support. In retaliation, the extremist liberal wing has closed its ears and walked off in the opposite direction. It is these extremists that Williams has to confront at practically every turn. All previous primates could have told them where to go, knowing that they had the money to run the church in a way that made most English people feel comfortable. Without the financial bulwark that Peel’s commissioners provided for so long, Williams has to duck and weave like no other archbishop before him. Read more

Archbishop faces clash over gay marriages of 50 priests

THE Church of England is facing a new rift over homosexual clergy with the disclosure that more than 50 gay or lesbian priests have “married” in civil partnership ceremonies.

Traditionalists and evangelicals opposed to gay clerics said this weekend they would force open debate of the issue at February’s meeting of the General Synod. Campaigners have criticised bishops for shying away from enforcing the church’s policy of ensuring gay clergy are celibate before they are given authorisation to enter civil partnerships. Read more